Point to Point: The Pinch Collar vs. The Choke Collar

1.) The pinch collar was designed to replace the choke collar. About the only thing that the choke collar has “over” the pinch collar is that it has been in the public eye for the last 20 years and is now widely accepted.

The pinch collar, in contrast, is relatively new to the public. When people first see it, they think it is some kind of cruel Nazi torture device. Instead of seeing prongs, they see spikes. The immediately form a rash judgement and refuse to look into the behavior benefits and reasons we use the collar. (See #4)

2.) The choke collar (supposedly) can do damage to a dog’s trachea if used excessively by a handler with poor technique. Of course, the pinch collar can also do damage if used with poor technique, but a green handler can learn to give an effective, motivational correction in about 10 minutes with the pinch collar.

The choke collar, in order to master proper technique, can sometimes take a couple of months. I find that, given the size of a dog like a Rottweiler, most clients are unable to give motivational corrections with the choke collar.

If the client is unable to give a motivational correction, the choke collar will rub and irritate the skin and wear away the hair around the dog’s neck. For toy-sized dogs, sometimes it’s easier to use the choke chain.

3.) If the pinch collar is sized and fitted correctly, it delivers a more comfortable (and at the same time more motivational) correction. The reason for this is that the pressure of the “jerk” from the leash is distributed all the way around the dog’s neck because the pinch collar constricts like a camera lens– all edges moving toward the center. And because there is a ring at the bottom, an inexperienced handler is unable to accidentally choke the dog.

In contrast, the choke collar works like a noose, and all pressure from the correction is delivered at one spot on the dog’s neck. Even for a large breed dog, this can be perceived as an unnecessary application of pressure.

4.) The fourth advantage of the pinch collar is that it replicates the way the Alpha dog corrects the subordinate dogs in the pack… by administering a bite to the neck. So instead of us humans getting hair in our teeth, we use the prongs on the pinch collar to give a proverbial “bite to the neck.” However, the average dog’s bite is estimated to be about 800 pounds per square inch. The Rottweiler and Pit Bull’s bite is estimated at around 1200 pounds per square inch. So even if we’ve got the muscles of Arnold Schwartzenegger, we couldn’t give our dog the type of correction they are capable of giving each other.

In sum, I have found that my average client can use the pinch collar to give one good motivation correction and get results with their dog. On the other hand, the clients who elect to use the choke collar often find themselves giving the dog 9 or 10 corrections before they are able to get motivational with the dog. And all the while the dog is building up a mental callous to the correction, which in the end means that the client has to give the dog a harder and more painful correction than if he were using the pinch collar.